This week in KDE: New features and many bugfixes for Plasma 5.25

This week Plasma 5.25 reached its “soft feature freeze” date, at which point we don’t add any large new features or major code refactorings. This reduces risk and gives us a longer period of time to polish those changes before the final release. So as you can imagine, everyone rushed to merge their big stuff right before the deadline! 🙂 As a result, this week I can present are tons of new features and important refactorings that fix multiple bugs. Check it out:

15-Minute Bugs Resolved

Current number of bugs: 70, same as last week. 2 added and 2 resolved:

The volume and brightness OSDs once again show their visual indicator bars on the lock and login screens (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.24.5)

When an application gives the system both an icon name and an image for its System Tray icon, the System Tray now prefers the icon name, so if there is such an icon in your icon theme, you’ll see that and it will respect your color scheme. This affected Telegram, for example (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24.6)

Current list of bugs

New Features

You can now optionally give your panel a “floating” appearance! In this mode, it still functionally behaves identically to a traditional panel, and clicks in the empty area will be forwarded to the panel. In addition, the panel “un-floats” when there are any maximized windows (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.25):

Discover now shows you apps’ level of access to resources on your system! When an app is sandboxed, you get a fine-grained list of exactly the things that the app automatically has permission to do (Suhaas Joshi and Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25):

The presentation here is still a bit rough, and will probably be cleaned up by the time 5.25 ships

When you uninstall a sandboxed app in Discover, it now offers you the ability to easily delete the settings and user data if you want to (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25):

The Overview effect now offers the option to exclude minimized windows, just like Present Windows does (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.25)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When you use Dolphin’s “Open Terminal” feature, it once again opens the terminal at the folder which is selected (if any) rather than always opening it at the current folder (Someone going by the pseudonym “oioi 555”, Dolphin 22.08)

Elisa now shows album art for songs and albums that have the covers embedded in the files, not just sitting next to them (Tranter Madi, Elisa 22.08)

System Monitor once again shows information for AMD GPUs (David Redondo, Plasma 5.24.6)

The Flickr and Simon Stålenhag Picture of the Day wallpapers no longer change more than once a day (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24.6)

Text for menu items in the Global Menu once again follows the color scheme of the Plasma Theme (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24.6)

System Settings’ Display Configuration page now shows the correct refresh rates in more circumstances (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.24.6)

Fixed one of the ways that the kded daemon could crash in the Plasma Wayland session (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.25)

Under the hood, the Present Windows and Desktop Grid effects have been rewritten to use the same backend as the Overview effect, which fixes a grand total of 44 Bugzilla tickets (!!!), gives them consistent visual styling, and modernizes their code to keep them maintainable going forward (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.25)

System Monitor charts using the “Horizontal Bars” style are now able to meaningfully show values equal to or very close to 0 (Trent McPheron, Plasma 5.25)

Fixed a memory leak when changing your wallpaper plugin (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.25)

When you change any of the paths in System Settings’ Locations page, any Places Panel bookmarks that pointed to the old locations are automatically updated to point to the new locations (Méven Car, Plasma 5.25)

System Monitor now shows the correct app icons for apps that were launched automatically at login (David Redondo, Plasma 5.25)

Breeze cursors are no longer ever so slightly smaller than they were intended to be (Chris Chris, Plasma 5.25)

Plasma no longer crashes if it can’t find the active theme (David Faure, Frameworks 5.94)

Dolphin no longer crashes when closed from the “Close Tab” list item from the command palette (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.94)

Fixed a bug that could cause file transfers to SMB shares to fail the second and/or subsequent times you make a transfer (Harald Sitter, Frameworks 5.94)

Fixed a memory leak affecting many Kirigami-based applications (Fushan Wen, Frameworks 5.94)

User Interface Improvements

Kate now shows its toolbar by default (Christoph Cullmann, Kate 22.08)

Kate’s Menu bar has been re-arranged a bit to make each one less huge and intimidating. In particular, there is now a new “Selection” menu that holds actions which will be applied only to whatever is selected (Eric Armbruster, Kate 22.08):

Various KWin scripts that are implemented in JavaScript (such as the Show Desktop effect) now that follow your fingers when activated with a gesture. Activate Show Desktop with a Touch Screen swipe to see some magic! (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.25)

A bunch more KWin effects are now activatable using touch screen edge swipes (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.25)

When you set up fingerprint authentication, the lock screen now lets you immediately unlock by putting your finger on the fingerprint reader; no need to click the “unlock” button with en empty password field anymore! (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.25)

You can now add locations and places to the “Favorites” list/grid in Kickoff, Kicker, and the Application Dashboard (Méven Car, Plasma 5.25):

Klipper’s configuration window has been re-organized a bit to have a new “Action Menu” page, which holds settings relevant to the actions menu when you are using any Klipper actions; if you’re not, you can safely ignore it entirely (Jonathan Marten, Plasma 5.25)

File open/save dialogs and inline icon views in various apps such as Kdenlive now let you scale icons up to 512 px size (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.94)

…And everything else

This blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org, where you can find more news from other KDE contributors.

How You Can Help

If you’re a developer, check out our 15-Minute Bug Initiative. Working on these issues makes a big difference quickly!

Otherwise, have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

22 thoughts on “This week in KDE: New features and many bugfixes for Plasma 5.25

  1. Damn, this one is really a huge one ‼️😱
    The floating panel is so sick, an option to keep it floating, even with maximized windows would be really cool, as well an option for rounded corners. I guess these are coming sometime in the near future.
    Keep up the excellent work guys! 🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Floating Panels” seems to me to be the most useless and unnecessary feature I’ve ever heard of. All I hope is that it doesn’t introduce a lot of bloat and new bugs.

    Like

  3. Great stuff this week!
    Again you did it – I want to try beta and see how it goes!

    Btw, do you guys plan to implement reporting of apcups support? I noticed that Gnome reports ups battery status but Plasma won’t.

    Like

    1. I don’t know if apcups is planned or in progress (I’d never heard of it until you mentioned it and I looked it up) so this may have to be one of those “scratch your own itch” things.

      Like

  4. Those Discover additions are awesome, and welcome. Also adding a place to favorite in the menu is good too. Thinking about it now it seems odd that it was overlooked. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YEEEESSS for floating panel! That looks siiiick

    Now all I want for the panel is pressure sensitivity / time delay for activation when it automatically hides. It’s bad that it just appears with the slightest touch on the edge, which means buttons at the lower parts of applications are more annoying to use

    Liked by 1 person

  6. YEEESSS for the floating panel!! That looks siiick

    Now all that’s left for the panel is to have pressure sensitivity / time delay setting so that it doesn’t show up with the slightest touch on the edge when it’s hidden. Without this I can’t really use automatic hide cause buttons in the lower parts of applications become annoying to use

    Like

  7. The Discover enhancements look awesome!

    I was testing a Gnome 42 session and hadnt checked out gnome software in years. I noticed their flatpak selection has a bar that appears that suggests helpful related platform flatpaks eg when installing VLC as a flatpak it suggests the components needed for bluray playback that arent installed by default.

    Would be a really helpful functionality to add to discover imho

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do already show those kinds of app add-ons in Discover, but they aren’t highlighted very prominently–though the presentation is a bit more prominent in 5.25 than it has been in older releases at least.

      Like

  8. More GUI and Easy development?
    Really? Please Focus on fixing memory footprint..

    Windows now it’s consuming less than Linux+ Plasma!

    Like

  9. The ability to add places to favorites in the Application Launcher is really useful, so are the added features to Discover. Great stuff!
    I’ve noticed something a bit strange in Discover though after the last update: It no longer offer to install KDE apps from KDE Neon repositories. This seemed like a step back in making Discover easy to use and user-friendly. I’m curious as to what is the reason for this decision.

    Like

    1. What Discover shows is up to the distro, so that’s a Neon thing. I do know that the intention was to show only KDE apps in the distro repos, and show all other apps from Flatpak and Snap. If that’s not what you’re seeing, it’s a bug in Neon and I would encourage you to report it to them.

      Like

  10. Hoping that Fedora 35 will get newest frameworks. Only 6 gigs of ram and occassional memory leaks make me need to reboot often

    Like

  11. Regarding floating panel:

    “In this mode, it still functionally behaves identically to a traditional panel, and clicks in the empty area will be forwarded to the panel.”

    Does this mean I can still flick my mouse to the bottom left “unaimed” to open the start menu? If so, good work! One cannot do this on Ubuntus Gnome anymore in 22.04, you have to specifically aim for the overview button and it was driving me crazy lol
    Other than that, how is the empty space handled in general, is it as if you’ve clicked on the icons/apps above?

    Like

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